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Freeze Frame
Pixar Taps the Power of Bad
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on January 10, 2005   |   Episode 46 (Show Archive)  


There's nothing quite like a well-made animated film, and these days nobody is better than Pixar Animations Studios. No matter what subject matter they tackle - from fish to toys to monsters - Pixar seems to set the high water mark for the industry. But what do you do after you've told a Toys Story or shown a Bugs Life? You make a movie based on one of the worst video games of all time, Blasto!

Okay, fine, that's Bob Parr and not Blasto ... but you have to admit, he looks almost exactly the same. Oh sure the bottom of his tights are different, but ignore that and look at everything else he brings to the table. Look at that large, puffed out chest, or the long, narrow face with the large Dick Tracy-like chin. How can you ignore the big letter in the middle of front, or the hair being almost the same style? The truth is, when you look at Bob Parr, it's almost impossible to ignore the similarities to a certain 1998 PlayStation game.

If you've completely missed the ad campaign surrounding the Incredibles, it's about a former superhero and his life as a regular human. After he's given a chance to return to his first job, he suits back up and gets ready to protect Earth from whatever attacks it. Blasto, on the other hand, has not yet retired, and will probably be killed before he thinks about Social Security. But like Bob, Blasto is forced to put personal feelings behind him and help save the world from an alien horde.

Before Blasto was released Sony hyped it as one of the last great experiences for the 32/64-Bit generation. Through various demos and showings, Sony made it known that they were putting a lot of stock on this Blasto character, who was coincidentally played by late Saturday Night Live alum, Phil Hartman. Of course, when people played the finished result, they found one of the dullest, least interesting hero games of all time. It was a game that looked bad, played horribly, and was absolutely no fun to be a part of.

The upcoming game based on the Incredibles doesn't give us much hope, either. A simple side by side look shows more than a few striking similarities to the six year old Blasto. But really, as long as the movie stays out of bad game territory this will be a non-issue. Of course, I can't help but feel like Phil Hartman should be voicing this character too. What a sad and tragic world we live in.


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